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Stripped Bare: A Novel (A Kate Fox Mystery) Kindle Edition
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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The book opens with a bang when Kate hears from her husband's ex-girlfriend that she's found Kate's husband, Ted Connor, the sheriff, shot and lying next to a dead man. As Ted recuperates from his wounds in the hospital, Kate attempts to balance her efforts to exonerate him and the work involved in running a ranch where new calves are being born daily, while at the same time searching for her semi-adopted teenage daughter. In the wide expanses of rural Nebraska, this means a tremendous amount of driving. Unfortunately, and this is the only real flaw of the book, the constant running from one place to another can make Kate seem unfocused and frantic. However, as the book proceeds and Kate hones in on the killer, the flurry of activity becomes more focused and the reader gains trust in Kate's instincts.
In the end, Kate inspires admiration, while the less central characters are well enough developed that the reader also forms relationships with them. The land-grabbing wealthy rancher convinces Kate and the reader that there's a valid reason for his interference with less well-off ranch owners. The missing teenage daughter, it turns out, is justified in her absence. Ted's being a part of the murder scene – well that's a different story. All in all, the plot elements hold together and support the twist that Kate's life takes in the end.
Baker brings to life the challenges of a rural Nebraska spring, sharing with the reader the connection to the land and community that infuses all of the characters. Kate is a member of a large family with wide-ranging influence, and the family members pull together to help Kate (some in rather misguided ways). STRIPPED BARE is an excellent start to a series, making the reader long to hear more about Kate and her entire family as she uses the knowledge and strength she gains in this book to forge her future.
This review first appeared at reviewingtheevidence.com.
Kate Fox Conner's life revolves around working on the Frog Creek cattle ranch and supporting her husband of eight years, Grand Country Sheriff Ted Conner. Kate's life is turned upside down when Ted is shot at the murder scene of local cattle rancher Eldon Edwards. Kate finds out that Ted is having an affair with Roxy Edwards, his ex-girlfriend and Eldon's daughter-in-law. And if that isn't enough, Eldon's granddaughter and Kate's niece Carly is also missing, leaving authorities to list both Ted and Carly as person of interests in Eldon's murder. Concern for her husband and niece leads Kate to embark on an amateur investigative adventure to clear their name and find the real killer, even when danger lurks in their Nebraska Sandhills community.
Stripped Bare is an intriguing whodunit tale that easily peaked my interest. This riveting tale has enough quirky characters, witty banter and humor, drama, secrets, betrayals, a growing list of suspects, and surprising twists and turns, that will easily keep you guessing the identity of the murderer. You can't help but get caught up in the drama and calamity that ensues as Kate tries to solve the murder and prove Ted and Carly's innocence. Kate's amateur investigative adventure unfolds with a wonderful balance of comedy, drama, and suspense, that easily left me wanting more. I loved the surprise ending, and I can't wait to read the next installment of this sassy lady's adventures!
I would be remiss if I didn't mention how much I really enjoyed the author's rich description of the midwestern setting. The author transports the reader to the rustic Nebraska Sandhills small town of Hodgekiss surrounded by cattle ranches, railroad tracks, the large Fox clan and memorable townsfolk.
Stripped Bare is a fast-paced suspenseful tale that mystery fans will enjoy reading.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review.
Rushing to the hospital to find out if her husband is still alive, she runs into her husband's old girlfriend, and overhears her talking..Yep, her husband has been having an affair with his old girlfriend.
If things aren't already bad enough, Kate might be pregnant. If she leaves her husband, she will lose her beloved farm. So Kate does the only things she knows to do, find out who shot the grandfather. But Carly is now missing too and maybe has run off with her boyfriend.
As you can see, this is a fast moving book that I think you will love and can't wait for the next one.
Most recent customer reviews
Can't wait to see what Kate does next!
Kate is a strong woman and in the first chapter of this story she is completely tested.Read more